Dress to Impress

First impressions count. Image consultants say that 55% of the impact we make is the way we dress, act and walk through the door, 38% is quality of voice, accent, use of grammar, and overall confidence, and a mere 7% is from what we actually say.

Interviewers make their decisions about a candidate within 10-30 minutes even when the interview takes longer. So, how can you create a good impression from the start? Look out for certain principles and it will help you well beyond the interview situation.

Body type

  • When clothes suit your body type your confidence is boosted.
  • In today’s society we have endless TV shows frequently featuring information about how to choose clothes and give makeovers to people.
  • Why not try on a range of clothes in specialist shops while gaining the assistance of staff. Say what you need it for, to get the most from their experience. Get the best advice you can - and take it!
  • Consult with your family and friends – get their views on a range of clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in.
  • Dress the part. Give your prospective employer the feeling that you look like the type of person that already is employed by their company, this is possible by doing some research on the company either through a prospective fact finding call to the employer or to your consultant dealing with this particular assignment.


Avoid at all times flamboyancy or untidiness.

Your own taste might not be anywhere near your prospective employers taste, choose something relatively conservative for an interview. After all, an interviewer wearing outrageous clothing would definitely distract you!

Conservative dress might not be everyone’s taste; nevertheless it is still a safe bet in today’s ever-changing marketplace.


  • Buying a new interview outfit might sound like a great idea – nevertheless we might not all be in that lucrative situation – the important part is that your clothes fit you well and in turn enable you to carry off that professional and comfortable impression.
  • Buying a new suit might be something we may want to consider if we are able to get ourselves through the initial interview rounds.
  • Remember when wearing shirts or blouses always adhere to conservative colours white, blue and ivory. Wearing new shoes for an interview can be a mistake. Plan ahead and make sure fit adjustments are made before you sit through an interview. The last thing you need on your mind is your feet are aching.


  • Before your interview, check your outfit is coordinated: i.e
  • Shoes, handbag, shirt, tie etc match
  • Get as much advice as possible
  • A co-ordinated look is likely to be more conservative in effect
  • Avoid heavy aftershave or perfume

Overall impression

  • Remember the first few seconds are vital.
  • Take a good look - is your hairstyle appropriate for both the job and the image you create with your clothes? If not, don't worry about changing it, you can always change it back once the job is yours!
  • Most people feel nervous meeting new people so make sure you rehearse initial greetings and get confident about your appearance.
  • Remember no one knows more about yourself than you do – so go on give it your best shot – Just be yourself.

When all is said and done, they can only ask you questions about yourself and what you have told them you have to offer via your CV. Be relaxed as you can and remember to answer all questions clearly and confidently.